2021 Impact Report

Maternal & Newborns Health

A commitment to breakthroughs in newborn and maternal health

Newborns Need is giving every
newborn a fighting chance

Alberta’s rate of preterm birth is the highest in Canada.

1 in 8

Our rate of admission to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of 1 in 8 is higher than the national average of 1 in 10.

These babies are born too sick, too early and too small. This leads to the busiest, highest level of intensive care NICU in the country at Foothills Medical Centre.

Newborns Need is giving every newborn a fighting chance

Newborns Need is a collaborative investment of $152 million between Calgary Health Foundation, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services. It is a commitment to maternal and newborn health, investing in programs, research and infrastructure, to ensure the best possible outcomes for the most vulnerable newborns and their families.

Healthy moms, healthy babies, healthy families

This is the biggest investment in maternal and newborn health currently underway.

Funded projects already making an impact


Rockyview General Hospital

  • Labour and delivery central monitoring for mom & baby

Foothills Medical Center

  • Infant stabilization room

Peter Lougheed Centre

  • A new maternity and NICU ward

South Health Campus

  • An addition of a care by parent room to NICU
  • A custom kid-friendly designed pediatric emergency pod


Expansion of the Shaganappi community health complex for prenatal and postpartum health services

MUMs program for mental health support during postpartum


IMPRESS study to advance detection and intervention of preeclampsia

Detection and prevention of pre-term birth

We are in the final push to build a world-class NICU at the Foothills Medical Centre – because for Southern Alberta only the best will do!

Built and equipped nearly 25 years ago with only 39 beds, it is 1/3 smaller than similar NICU’s across the country. And while Foothills’ care outcomes are among the best in the country, the existing space cannot accommodate the innovations and best practices that have become today’s standard of care.

To address this urgent need, Calgary Health Foundation, Alberta Health Services and the Government of Alberta have committed to funding a new NICU at Foothills Medical Centre.

Funding a new NICU at Foothills Medical Centre

Now more than ever we need your support in making this vision a reality!


Community-focused science to help families predict and prevent preterm birth

Alberta has reached such a critical point in preterm births that more than 40 scientists and clinical researchers have launched an unprecedented initiative to find tangible solutions for families. Funded by $5 million in community donations through the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and Calgary Health Foundation, the team aims to increase global knowledge and provide immediate real-world health benefits to expectant mothers and newborn babies in our community.

With experts collaborating from the lab to the clinic and into our community, southern Alberta families will become the first to benefit from breakthroughs in preterm birth interventions.

Mike Meldrum, President & CEO, Calgary Health Foundation

The need for more investment in women

Women make up 51% of the population, and represent only 2% of Canadian research funding is dedicated to women’s health.

Sex- and gender-related disparities continue to persist in Canada’s health system. Women are more likely to die of preventable illnesses and bear a higher burden of chronic illnesses.
source: Canada, budget 2021

In investments to advance understanding of women’s health and the impact on family wellness:

Dr. Eliana Castillo & Dr. Verena Kuret:


Improving the impact of COVID-19 vaccinations for mother-infant health. The project aims to provide Albertans of reproductive age, pregnant or breastfeeding and their families with effectiveness and safety data to make healthy choices. It will also provide clinicians, public health officials and decision-makers with necessary metrics for program implementation and evaluation of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Stephen Wood:


Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (a type of brain dysfunction when not enough oxygen or blood flow is received over a period of time) complications during birth can be devastating for families. An Alberta-wide study is underway to identify early indicators of HIE, with the long-term goal of a 50% reduction in cases. Newborns experiencing HIE may die or face debilitating and life-long conditions, creating a heavy burden on the health system. And ultimately, HIE has a traumatic and heart-breaking experience for families and often care providers.

Stories of Impact

Your support of Calgary Health Foundation has funded breakthroughs that are transforming lives. See how!


COVID-19 Care

A team of champions: Dean’s unexpected battle with COVID-19


Enhancing Wellness in the Community

New experiences enhance quality of life: Virtual Reality provides both recreation and cognitive therapy


Advancing Critical Research

From HELLP to hope: Maternal clinical research that is saving lives


Maternal & Newborn Health

Newborns Need and women's health investments are advancing care for the whole family


Mental Health

Ensuring the right care at the right time as demand for mental health and addiction resources is increasing



A win-win for Albertans and Calgary hospitals